Today marks the day of Ukrainian independence, as well as the more sombre anniversary of 181 days since the war in Ukraine began. For six months and a day we have watched the unimaginable turmoil, trauma, and grief wash over not only Europe but the whole world. A world at war with itself is a sin against God, and a challenge which may feel insurmountable given how little hope there seems for an end to the hostility. Yet, as we turn to scripture in the psalm from today's morning prayer, which opens our letter, we are reminded of the hope which comes from God in prayer. A hope we have been walking in pilgrimage together for and are asked to renew in our hearts again today for the sake of the people of Ukraine and the world.
Psalm 86 is one of those moments when the providence of God speaks clearly to us. This psalm, when taken within the whole volume of psalms, is an example of what the daily Christian life is really like. From the high joys of life to the deep desolation of the unknown and grief, the psalms offer us space to walk, work, and struggle with life through our trust and faith in God. The key, however, is that faith isn't about a stiff upper lip or faking happiness till we make it through the fire and pain of life, faith is real and sometimes it takes some searching to find- especially when life throws us a bunch of lemons. However, as we read the psalms we hear time and again that even in the depths of our deepest, darkest, moments, God is there. God is there waiting and unveiling the new life that is blooming all around us. As Christians, our faith is one which attests to the reality that death is never the final answer, there is always hope and room for the joy of life and of peace.
During our pilgrimage of peace, in support of the PWRDF response to the war in Ukraine, earlier this summer, we did more than just raise over $3,000 together. We learned about the people, the places, and the worshipping communities that make up Ukraine. For me, and maybe this resonates for you too, it changed how I hear the news about Ukraine. I have a different sense of the country and the vastness of the challenges it is facing, challenges which are also part of the global community as well. Peace remains elusive in our world, God’s peace is desperate to invade our hearts and plant within our hands and feet the seeds of his eternal peace, in Ukraine, Russia and around our neighbourhood and global family.
I invite you to join me in prayer and intercession today for those seeds of peace, that our nations may once again cease the sin of war and return to God’s peace. Pray for Ukraine, Russia, Iran, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Yemen, Israel- Palestine, Haiti, Myanmar, Taiwan, and every place where war and aggression persist. And as we pray for these countries, consider sending notes of prayer and support to their consulates here in Vancouver. Especially consider sending your greetings to the Ukrainian Honorary Consulate in Vancouver. In doing so we continue to further our witness to love our neighbor, and stand with that neighbor in their darkest hour.
The Ukrainian Honorary Consulate in Vancouver can be found at:
Mr Ihor Lubomyr Huculak, Honorary Consul
807, 938 Howe StreetVancouver, BC V6Z 1N9
“Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; listen to my cry of supplication. On the day of my trouble I call on you, for you will answer me. (Psalm 86: 6-7)”
May the seeds of peace be sown again today by our prayers and petitions for the community of Christ to which we all belong.
these lands upon which we worship as the ancestral, cultural, traditional and unceded lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) people from time immemorial.